Scoutmaster Musings - Scout Shop Visit

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Scoutmaster Musings

Scout Shop Visit
I dropped by the scout shop after a talk with my District Executive, just to see what's new to throw my money at.

I was immediately drawn to the merit badge display looking more like a rainbow than the usual red/white/grey tower. All the merit badge pamphlets are now out in 4-color. The insides have colored photos and nice paper. The actual requirements and text has not changed in them, except for those being updated this year, but there has sure been a lot of effort put into making them more attractive. (And, hopefully, more interesting to read.)
I picked up an Aviation pamphlet to show off at the next troop meeting, let the scouts know they are out, and discuss with the Librarian what he wants to do about it. At least it will make it easy over the next couple years to weed out the old versions!

I actually didn't go straight to the merit badge display. I first had to fight my way past the Centennial uniform display which took up most of the front of the store. My first face-to-cloth look at the new product, and I'm sorry to say that I'm disappointed with a few things.

The breast pockets look really weird, more like something I'd expect to see on a girl's shirt. The US Flag and "Boy Scouts of America" are not sewn on patches, but more like ironed on decals. They look really cheap.
Finally, the sleeve pocket is just plain dumb. The new patch placement guide (due out in a month) will supposedly direct us to place Position patches centered on the pocket. So, now that I've sewn the pocket shut with a patch, it's worthless. I was told that you can unstitch the pocket, sew on the Position patch, and then resew the pocket onto the sleeve - yeah, right! Or, the other suggestion was to use Badge Magic.

So, what was I impressed with? Well, the cap is just green with a subdued Fleur-de-Lis and there are 3 different sizes so I got one that actually fits me! I do think the hat looks pretty cool. Also, the canvas belt looks tough and the dull metal buckle is hefty. The socks and pants seem just fine and I like the new colored Troop Numerals, Trained patch, and Position patches.

Actually, I think as BSA gets feedback over the next few months about the shirt and get it fixed, the uniform will be a good thing. They need to hear from their customers what's going to sell or not. I for one won't be buying a new shirt, but have the other bits on my birthday list. :-)

Scout On
Posted: 17:48 08-22-2008 353
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